Commenting on the recall to jail of Reza Shahabi, treasurer of the ITF’s affiliate the Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company, ITF general secretary David Cockroft stated : “This is deeply disappointing. There were and are convincing medical reasons for Reza to be released, and even more convincing moral ones for why he should be out and his innocence upheld.”
ITF president Paddy Crumlin stated: “This petty and vindictive move further underlines the moral vacuum and isolation of the Iranian government on human and labour rights including through its persecution of trade unionists.”
In a last ditch appeal to the Iranian president ahead of Reza Shahabi's re-detention, David Cockroft wrote:
“The Iranian Government responded positively to the previous communications which we sent regarding the urgent need to release Reza Shahabi. However, we have now been informed by the Syndicate that he has been warned that his medical leave may shortly be revoked although he still requires treatment.
We welcome the fact that both the Iranian Government and the Management of the Vahed Company have recently begun dialogue with the elected leadership of the Syndicate, and we hope this will continue. It is our strong view that the permanent release of Reza Shahabi, together with the lifting of the 5-year ban on participating in union activities, which was also imposed upon him, would contribute positively to the dialogue process.
We reiterate the ITF's strongly held view that all trade union activists and members, including Reza Shahabi, who have been prosecuted and imprisoned, merely for participating in trade-union activities, which are fully compatible with ILO Core Labour Conventions, should have their sentences cancelled and should be released from prison and permitted to function normally."
For more information contact ITF press officer, Sam Dawson.
Direct line: + 44 (0)20 7940 9260.
International Transport Workers' Federation - ITF:
ITF House, 49 - 60 Borough Road, London SE1 1DS
Tel: + 44 (0) 20 7403 2733
Fax: + 44 (0) 20 7375 7871